The presence of an aberrant type of human chorionic gonadotropin in patients with gastric or colorectal cancer
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Beta subunits of human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG) and human chorionic gonadotropin-like substance (hCGLS) were measured radioimmunologically in the serum and malignant tissue from patients with gastrointestinal cancer. Since serum β-hCG and hCGLS correlate closely to those in cancer tissues, it is assumed that these two gonadotropins originate from cancer tissues. The serum hCGLS levels in 54 patients with gastrointestinal cancer were significantly higher, when compared with the findings in 19 healthy volunteers and 10 peptic ulcer patients. The frequency of high levels of serum hCGLS accounted for 71 per cent of those with operable gastric cancer, 44 per cent of those with inoperable gastric cancer, 100 per cent of those with operable colorectal cancer, and 67 per cent of those with inoperable colorectal cancer. On the contrary, serum β-hCG levels did not differ between the volunteers and the cancer patients. In the 17 sera and 15 cancer tissues assayed, β-hCG did not correlate to hCGLS. Moreover, the high levels of β-hCG in cancer patients occurred in only 1/14 (7.1 per cent) of the assayed serum, and in 5/14 (35.7 per cent) of the cancer tissue. The increased production of these two hCGs may result from neoplastic trans-fromation of an unrestrained fetal genome responsible for hCG production during gestation. It is assumed that the increased producibility of a defective hCG, i.e., an aberrant hCG such as hCGLS, is characteristic of malignant tumors.
Key Wordshuman chorionic gonadotropin hCG gastrointestinal cancer
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